Harris: Menís Basketball Building Block
by Kristen DiChiaro
Six months ago Rhode Island
College freshman Jason Harris didnít think he would be playing
college basketball, let alone becoming an impact player. Despite his
thoughts, Harris has been a bright spot for the Anchormen in a season
with little light.
Harris, who was an all-star
football and basketball player in high school, had his hopes set on
playing college football. "I applied to all football schools but
it fell through for me. Then I got recruited by Coach Johnston [last
seasonís interim Head Coach]," says Harris. "During
try-outs I was saying to myself ĎI donít think I can play at this
level.í The other guys at try-outs were really talented and I just
didnít think I could compete with them."
Harris ended up making the
team and becoming the starting power forward for the Anchormen. This
season has been a tough one for the team, posting only a 1-19 overall
record and a 0-9 record in the Little East Conference.
Harris is leading the team
in scoring with 9.4 ppg. He is second in rebounding with 6.7 rpg and
third in steals with 0.8 spg. He scored a career-high 22 points and
grabbed ten rebounds in the teamís lone win of the season against
Bridgewater State on Jan. 10.
Harrisí impact on the
team has come as a surprise to him but with each passing game he gains
more confidence in his playing abilities. "I use my size as an
advantage," says Harris. "Iím one of the shortest guys at
my position at 6í3" so the guys Iím matched up against are
usually 6í6" and taller but Iím bigger than a lot of them so
I try to take advantage of that and use my body."
Even though the Anchormen
have been in last place in the LEC all year, Harris feels many
positive things have come out of the season. Losing has only driven
the team to play harder. "Weíre all willing to do whatever it
takes to win," says Harris. "The whole team bonded this
year. Everyone on the team hangs out together," says Harris.
The Anchormen have eight
new players on the roster and an entirely new coaching staff with Head
Coach Mike Kelly and his assistants Jeff Caron and Patrick McNulty.
With this mixture the future looks bright for the team. Kelly and his
staff came on board late last summer and missed an entire season of
surprised the coaching staff this season," says Assistant Coach
McNulty. "He gets the most out of his abilities and is a tireless
worker in the paint. Although heís only a freshman, heís
definitely one of the leaders on this team."
The team is looking forward
to next season and plans on working hard during the off-season.
"I can guarantee I will be ready for next season," Harris
says adamantly. He plans on getting into better shape and working on
his outside game during the off-season.
"I think weíre just
one player away. If we can get one more good player, I think we will
have enough talent to start winning games," says Harris.
Harris is a 2001 graduate
of Bedford High School in Bedford, Massachusetts. He was a four-year
letterwinner in basketball and football while at BHS. He was also a
captain, all-star and earned All-League honors in both sports during
his senior year.